Friday, July 10, 2020

A Historian (?) on Biblical History and Denying It (first 10 minutes)

Which Bible Characters are Historical? (Biblical Genealogy Part 1)
Useful Charts | 17.IV.2020

1:01 "not to record literal history"

The Bible is not the Coran. The Coran consists of 114 sermons.

The Catholic Bible has 73 books, 1184 chapters, of which the majority (I divided by books they belonged to, even if Exodus / Leviticus also has law and Daniel also has prophecy), namely 680 chapters are historical.

I think your position is at best weak. Apart of course from being wrong, but that's what I am here to debate for.

2:37 "mythology is just a story"

If you limit the term to Theogony and hymn to Apollo dealing with his and his sister's birth on Delos ... fine.

If you include Hercules, Theseus, Trojan War, Return of Ulysses to Ithaca, we disagree.

3:09 Zeus and Prometheus ... can reflect real events in which for instance Watchers, while falling and being punished by God, also give some cultural assets to men (swords being one example).

If so, obviously changed in a lot of details, including final redemption of Prometheus by Hercules, so, as history at least very badly transmitted.

4:01 I place Homer as a colleague of Lanzmann.

Abducting Jews all over Europe is historical. That this particular family left a teddy bear or that particular family radishes and butter behind in an appartment that was emptied of inhabitants is reconstruction.

Obviously, exact wording in dialogues would be more or less well reconstructed and the parts attributed to false gods would be a reconstruction missing reality for the reason that Homer was wrong about the divine. Gods' debate on Mt. Olympus about Ulysses is not historical, doesn't mean his return from Troy to Ithaca isn't.

4:25 The wooden horse - the guy who started doubting this was a cynic who thought Trojans couldn't have been that gullible. I think out of mistaken religiosity, they could have.

How Achilles got "invulnerable" doesn't affect that some people can go through many battles without being hurt by a single bullet or sword stroke. In German superstition of 19th C. one considered them as "geveit" - all bullets would miss them. It is very possible that both Sigfried's back and Achilles heel were examples of the one wound that finally took someone who previously had gone unmolested through the most iron raining battles.

Charles XII and Francisco Franco are two people who would not be struck by bullets (until Charles XII finally was so, in a war against Denmark).

5:17 "to believe this story is to disregard everything we know from modern science"

Note : from fields not actually yours, so you are trusting the words of "expertise" you didn't look very closely at.

5:31 "most Jewish rabbis"

Alive today, I presume.

"will explain to you, these stories were never meant to be taken literally"

I wonder if they can show you a passage in Maimonides or the Mishna for that, I don't really think so. As for the Bible they cannot, and as for the traditions about its content available 2000 years ago, Christianity shows taking it literally was at least one big option, and one shared by at least some Pharisees (Sts Paul and Barnabas had both been disciples of Gamaliel).

If not, I'd consider their "explanation" as very "convenient" as in the phrase "how convenient!"

5:35 "even the early Christian writer Augustine understood this"

You are going by urban legend, I have checked him out.

In Confessiones, nothing like it. I read it for university. In De Civitate, he says the exact opposite, and he starts out by not sharing what your view on the Aeneid would be, since he takes literally that Aeneas left with Troy's idol of Athena.

Book 15 Having treated in the four preceding books of the origin of the two cities, the earthly and the heavenly, Augustine explains their growth and progress in the four books which follow; and, in order to do so, he explains the chief passages of the sacred history which bear upon this subject. In this fifteenth book he opens this part of his work by explaining the events recorded in Genesis from the time of Cain and Abel to the deluge.

Book 16 In the former part of this book, from the first to the twelfth chapter, the progress of the two cities, the earthly and the heavenly, from Noah to Abraham, is exhibited from Holy Scripture: In the latter part, the progress of the heavenly alone, from Abraham to the kings of Israel, is the subject.

7:32 "according to most historians, the best label for the Exodus story would still be mythology"

Meaning most historians, or the ones you think of as a majority, will be going to Hell, on top of, of course, reasoning badly.

7:40 "supposedly occurred around 1450 BC"

Roman Martyrology (for Christmas day) actually places it in 1510 BC.

"The Egyptians were keeping really good records at this point"

Dated in the very exact AD dating, wait, it didn't exist back then ...

Gregory of Tours considered these death dates (in AD reckoning) symbolically related:
Christ 33
St. Martin 444
Clovis 555

[The reference was not a bookmarked internet page available from "my computer" - non-extant entity - but a book I gave back and forget the title of, as well as the author.]

How many historians these days would consider St. Martin died in 444 or Clovis I in 555?

So, Egyptian records for what you think corresponds to 1450 or 1510 BC may refer to another time (I would argue later).

7:49 "there is no mention of the Israelites ever having lived in Egypt"

You are showing sth like the Turin or Abydos King List, documents of ceremonial value, with no narrative, and which would typically avoid mentioning embarrassing episodes.

You are extrapolating from omissions there as if you were dealing with Gregory of Tours, or Matthew Paris or Titus Livy .... give me a break!

8:18 Hyksos invasion happened after the Exodus of Israelites. The Ipuwer Papyrus, asking for Ethiopian help, evokes the invasion in terms reminiscent of the Ten Plagues.

It specifically says, Egypt had no army to resist them, and that would explicably have been the case after its drowning in the Red Sea.

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